Features

Clearfix
Wed
21
Jun
JohnA's picture

Leveraging the Internet for Operational Security Benefits

The internet - it's for more than just fun...
The internet - it's for more than just fun...

Internet connectivity is an important means of delivering business and security value, not just a recreational vehicle and a consummate aggregator of attention.

THERE’S a common belief in the security industry that remote access, internet connection, and external connections are bad; and in the wake of the Mirai bot net and near daily IoT security warnings, it’s not all that surprising that we want to keep security systems air-gapped.

While unarguably well intentioned, this line of thinking will have physical and electronic security providers relegated to the realm of tin foil hat wearers as businesses and users continue to demand more and more efficiency from their systems. Does that mean that we should plug everything in, open everything up, and embrace a fully connected ecosystem – certainly not. It’s all about benefit and risk.

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Thu
08
Jun
JohnA's picture

Special Report: Securing Networked Security Devices

Securing networked-connected security devices
Securing networked-connected security devices

In the wake of attacks against hundreds of thousands of networked connected devices, including cameras and controllers, network security is finally receiving the recognition it deserves as a vital component of any networked electronic security solution. 

NETWORK security is a science that exists in the backend of many electronic security solutions – a disparate realm that at first glance seems unconnected, yet is the hearthstone of most of our infrastructure. From networked access control, intrusion, automation, and video surveillance solutions, to cloud-based alarm systems and direct-connected NVRs, access controllers and even single devices, this is a deep and complex area. No electronic security solution with an exposed network port can be considered secure without the application of network security policy. 

According to Brendan White of Mobotix, the greatest vulnerabilities of network devices are unauthorised access and backdooring. 

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Fri
09
Dec
JohnA's picture

Securing Networked CCTV Cameras

Securing IP cameras
Securing IP cameras

After the recent DDoS botnet attack, integrators and end users are right to be thinking seriously about securing IP cameras and the networks they run on. Fortunately, there are many practical measures that can be taken to harden devices exposed to local networks and the Internet. 

WHEN you’re thinking about securing IP cameras, the first thing to do is work on the password that gains access to the camera browser. Default user names and passwords like admin and admin, root and pass, admin and no password, admin and 123456 are a sure way to leave cameras open to hacking. Passwords are more difficult than they sound. They need to be complex enough to defy easy breaching and they need to be manageable. There’s nothing worse than losing a password and having to reset every device on a network, in effect recommissioning the system to re-gain communication. Passwords need to be managed and securely stored. 

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Tue
08
Nov
JohnA's picture

Cyber Security At the Heart of Electronic Security Solutions

Cyber security vital to modern electronic security solutions
Cyber security vital to modern electronic security solutions

Like all good fairy tales, we begin with “Once upon a time…” Once upon a time, security systems were analogue and not connected to anything, or at most, a phone line, cameras connected to a time lapse VCR, and we saved footage on shelves full of video tape.

IT’S now 2016 and most security systems are network or internet-connected, yet it’s still far too common for people in the security industry to believe we’re living in a fairy tale world typified by a comment I recently read suggesting that physical security can survive without cyber security. However, in the world of modern security systems everything is a computer. 

Acknowledging that there’s an element of hyperbole in that statement, let’s consider some of the key aspects that would have us consider a device to be a computer:

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Wed
20
Jan
JohnA's picture

BGWT Takes On Auriga PAVA Distribution

BGW Technologies will distribute Auriga IP-based public address and alarm verification systems
BGW Technologies will distribute Auriga IP-based public address and alarm verification systems

BGWT Takes On Auriga PAVA DistributionBGW Technologies will distribute Auriga IP-based public address and voice alarm (PAVA) system from Inform Technology Solutions

BGW Technologies will distribute Inform’s full range of public address and voice alert software as well as its locally produced Aries 100v and low impedance amplifiers, and the new Dynatá range of plane wave speakers.

Auriga, enables a tailored response to any event or required action and provides intelligible alert communication over local or wide area networks. To complement Auriga, Inform also manufactures and supplies a range of peripheral products for wide area alert and public address including the Dynatá range of high performance flat panel ‘planar’ speakers.

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Thu
03
Dec
JohnA's picture

Senstar Tungsten Secures Physical Security Networks

Senstar Tungsten secures physical security networks
Senstar Tungsten secures physical security networks

SENSTAR Tungsten is a high security Ethernet switch, distributed locally by BGWT and specifically designed to cyber-secure physical security networks, SCADA-based systems and safe-city applications.

Tungsten provides ironclad security with full control and customizable networking capabilities. Cutting-edge hardware, coupled with network intelligence and policy enforcement software engines, offer an effective tool for securing sites and installations.

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Tue
03
Nov
JohnA's picture

Security Cloud: Vapourware or The Future?

Cloud is just another computer...
Cloud is just another computer...

Cloud, that vapourous construct of marketers and human imagination, holds many installers, integrators and end users in thrall but they’d feel more relaxed if they simply defined cloud as ‘someone else’s computer’.

PART of the challenge of the transition to a networking landscape that includes cloud is market acceptance. For many people, the word cloud and all those misty images of condensation meant to represent it, are opaque and incomprehensible. When people explain cloud, they seldom mention data centres. Instead they wave their hands mysteriously as though invoking Be'al, the life of everything.

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Wed
29
Apr
JohnA's picture

Is Your Alarm Installation Business NBN Ready?

NBN-readiness means new opportunities
NBN-readiness means new opportunities

Ongoing rollout of the national broadband network will carry 1 million alarm systems into a networked environment. Installers and monitoring stations need to plan ahead to make sure they don’t get caught out. 

By February 2015, the NBN was available in around three quarters of a million premises across the country and was rolled out at twice the rate of the previous 12-month period. Similar increases in the pace of the rollout are expected this year and next. 2014 also saw the beginning of copper line disconnection and disruption to existing telephone and ADSL services prompting concern from some businesses. For example, as the NBN roll out continues and more disconnections take place, around one million back-to-base monitored alarms will require an upgrade to operate in an NBN world.

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Fri
17
Apr
JohnA's picture

Axis Zipstream Compression, Half Storage and Bandwidth of H.264

Axis M1124
Axis M1124

Axis Communications’ is a new compression technology the company says consumes half the storage and bandwidth of H.264.

“We launched H.264 in 2008; people ask if Zipstream is as big of a deal? It’s a bigger deal,” Fredrik Nilsson, Axis Communications GM Americas told SSN recently.

“Zipstream is fully compatible with the existing H.264 standard and all the video management systems out there,” Nilsson said. “Integrators can upgrade most [Axis] cameras right away with a firmware update. 

According to Nilsson, Zipstream works by filtering blue sky or moving trees [for example] that are not very interesting - you then compress harder for an average or 50 per cent or more reduction in bandwidth and storage.

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Tue
13
Jan
JohnA's picture

EDS14: Synology’s Mini Marvel

Synology EDS14
Synology EDS14

Synology’s teeny EDS14 resembles a NAS mated with a USB hub. It’s designed as a mobile server supporting up to 5 IP cameras. There’s a USB 2.0 port supporting remote access by dongle, while a USB 3.0 and an SDXC UHS-I slot handle storage. 

WHAT strikes me out of the box is the size of Synology EDS14. It’s so small. There’s nothing to go wrong on the outside and the heavily ribbed poly housing and port-based design tells you there’s not much to go wrong on the inside, either. There are no buttons to break and it’s fan-less so this unit will shrug off dust and never overheat due to fan failure.  

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